Saturday, November 19, 2016

If Knitters/Crocheters Earned a Minimum Wage...*

I was trying to find a (very) general price guideline to really demonstrate that hand knitting/crocheting an item represents a significant amount of effort. The current consumer market for handmade knitwear is actually very low at the moment; a guess estimate for an average market price is the price of the yarn + 15% commission (or less). So, I tried to create my best guess of what a knitter would charge for their knitwear if they wanted to earn minimum wage for their time (below).* Although my equation includes a whole host of variables; it does not include any business planning time, taxes, or shipping materials which would affect any real knitwear seller.

Total Unit Price: M + 0.1Q + 0.1X + L + 0.1P

Fancy; but what would that mean? 

So for a pair of plain (stockinette) socks 
let's break down my equation:

Price of Project Specific Materials (M): $13.00 
Price of Equipment (Q) : $ 0.87
Price of Experience: $2.50 = [7 Techniques (Cast On, Kitchner Stitch, Increase, Decrease, Pick Up Stitches, 2 Shaping Decisions-Yarn Gauge & Size for Foot) + 18 Years at Craft] x 10%
Price of Labor (L) : $130.4 = 16 hours x $8.15 (2017 Ohio Minimum Wage)
Profit Minimum: $14.68 = 10% of  $146.77

Total Asking Price: $ 161.45

Definitions of Variables 

Price of Project Specific Materials
This would include items which you use most/all of in the project like yarn and beads.
Price of Equipment
This is based on recouping the cost of what I consider basic knitting equipment within 150 commissions. These prices are not the lowest - nor the highest on the tool spectrum and are a rough average price. Remember to change the Needle Price & Percentage to reflect the true number of needles in a project.
EquipmentPrice ($)Lifespan (Years)10%
1 Set of Circular Needles or 2 Sets of Double Pointed Needles 9.80 10 0.098
Wool Wash 13.00 7 0.186
Pins 5.00 15 0.033
Blocking Boards 15.00 10 0.150
Yarn Needles or Stitch Markers 3.00 10 0.030
Yarn Winder 20.00 10 0.200
Swift 50.00 30 0.170

Price of Experience
(Range of techniques needed in the pattern + years of experience in the craft) x 0.10
Price of Labor
Minimum Wage x Hours Worked
This does not include any time for accounting, advertising, customer service, business planning, etc. 
Minimum Profit
+ 10% of all previous Pricing Variables
This is to add a teeny price cushion for the producer to learn new techniques, upgrade equipment, raise future product quality, treat any craft injuries, buy material storage, advertising, etc.


* This set of equations is based on my remembered knowledge from a basic economics class over eight years ago and basic business math classes. Please do not consider this solid business advice; consult with a professional!

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